Top health official — wider outbreak may require new restrictions

Health Minister deputy head Itamar Grotto tells a Knesset Committee that Israel could be headed back toward lockdown restrictions, after an uptick in the number of new daily virus cases.

“If we get 100 sick people in a day that are not connected to the same outbreak epicenter, we’ll need to step back, restrictions-wise. For now there is one outbreak center, we have a plan to contain it that does not involve the whole population.”

A large number of the recent cases have been traced to a single Jerusalem high school, though other schools across the country have also seen isolated cases.

While noting that Israel has the capacity to test 40,000 people a day, he says what worries him is not the number of cases, but the rise in the number of test samples coming back positive for the novel coronavirus.

“We’ve gone from half a percent to 1.5%,” he says.

He adds that Israel is still on track to rescind any remaining restrictions on businesses and other institutions on June 14, though the date may change slightly.

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